Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE)
New York - AFP
Wall Street stocks Tuesday finished lower following disappointing economic data, including a big drop in US consumer confidence.
On the final day of the third quarter, the Dow Jones Industrial Average closed at 17,042.90, down 28.21 points (0.17 percent).
The broad-based S&P 500 fell 5.51 (0.28 percent) to 1,972.29, while the tech-rich Nasdaq Composite Index shed 12.46 (0.28 percent) to 4,493.39.
Despite Tuesday's drops, all three indices finished with quarterly gains. The Dow rose 1.29 percent, the S&P 0.62 percent and the Nasdaq 1.93 percent.
After rising for four months, the Conference Board index of US consumer confidence fell to 86.0 from 93.4 in August due to mounting concerns about the jobs market.
Other reports included a disappointing reading on Chinese manufacturing and a drop in eurozone inflation in September to the lowest level since the financial crisis.
EBay jumped 7.5 percent after announcing it would spin off PayPal to help it compete better in the fast-moving online payments industry. Earlier eBay had rejected calls by activist investor Carl Icahn to spin off PayPal.
Oil companies dropped as US crude prices retreated 3.6 percent. Dow members ExxonMobil and Chevron fell by 0.4 percent and 1.0 percent respectively, while ConocoPhillips lost 1.7 percent.
Online real estate listings company Move bolted 37.1 percent higher after Rupert Murdoch's News Corp. announced it would buy the service for $950 million. Zillow, a rival real estate listing company, fell 2.8 percent. News Corp. dropped 2.2 percent.
Avis Budget fell 7.0 percent after the company's chief financial officer told an investment conference that fleet costs have risen above expectations, in part due to heavy recalls announced by automakers.
Bond prices fell. The yield on the 10-year US Treasury rose to 2.51 percent from 2.49 percent Monday, while the 30-year increased to 3.21 percent from 3.18 percent. Bond prices and yields move inversely.